Dolphins Ginn in New York

By MikeBullock  |   Monday, November 02, 2009  |  Comments( 1 )

Miami Dolphins
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Returning a kickoff for a touchdown is a very rare thing in the NFL. While I don’t have an assistant to compile stats for me, like some big name writers, I can hazard a guess that it only happens about once every hundred or so kickoffs.

That being said, it’s even more out of the ordinary to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game. The occurrence is so infrequent, it’s only happened six times in NFL history. Of those six, none had come at the hands of a Dolphin, until number seven struck.

Even more uncommon than returning two kickoffs for touchdowns is doing a deuce for over 100 yards each. So rare in fact that it’s never happened.

Let that sink in for a minute.

In eighty nine years of National Football League play, it had never happened. Ever.

That is, until Ted Ginn Jr. did it against the New York Jets on Sunday November 1st, 2009.

Many believe Ginn contributed heartily to the Dolphins loss last week with poor route running and sloppy ball handling. In fact, the ire aimed at Ginn amped up during the week as former Dolphins’ greats got in on the lambasting, calling Ginn out and making it apparent they didn’t believe he was worthy of wearing the Miami uniform.

Feeling boxed in by the pressure from outside the organization, and within as coach Tony Sparano benched him in favor of rookie receiver Brian Hartline, it all came to a head when Ginn took to the gridiron to field a kickoff. While many so-called ‘men’ in professional sports would hang their heads and give up on the team (re: Randy Moss) when faced with criticism, Ginn did just the opposite. He manned up and brought an historic performance to the field.

After the game, Ginn reflected on that moment, “I really felt like I was trapped, I just tried to use my feet. Once I get that opening, once I turn on those burners, I'm gone.”

And gone he was, eluding two sure tackles from Jets’ special teamers and weaving his way into a seam before reaching the goal line a hundred yards away.

Forget all the drama of the pregame altercation between Dolphins outspoken linebacker Joey Porter and Jets’ safety Kerry Rhodes. Dismiss the fact that Miami QB Chad Henne only passed for 112 yards on 12 completions. Don’t even think about highlighting the Jets’ failed comeback in the last two minutes of the game. When this season is long over, none of that will make a dent in the collective memory of professional football.

What will endure is Ted Ginn Jr.s’ performance.

When the going gets tough, Ginn got going, all the way for six, twice. Savor it while you can Dolphins fans, because from the looks of things, there won’t be much else to bask in before the ’09 season comes to a close.
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